John Kentera, better known by his fans as “The Coach” has been a sports broadcaster and fan favorite in Southern California for over 20 years. Kentera has solidified his status as a So Cal icon hosting several top-rated shows over his long-standing, multifaceted career. He’s the voice of Padre Baseball’s Pre and Post Game Shows; Host of his 3 hour nighttime talk show; Host of the wildly successful High School Score Board Show, and Co-Host of The World Baseball Network with former Pro pitcher Bob Scanlan. Tune into XX1090 sports radio anytime of the day and you’re likely to hear his voice.
Kentera got his start in radio at 690 XTRA Gold in 1987 which in 1990 turned into the legendary XTRA Sports 690 all sports radio. Kentera’s television and radio broadcasting credits include the San Diego Chargers Football, Los Angeles Kings Hockey, San Diego State University football and basketball, the University of San Diego football and basketball, and High School CIF championships in both football and basketball.
Often referred to as a sports encyclopedia, Kentera prefers keeping to the fundamentals of performance spending less time on the hype that often surrounds the lives of professional athletes. His style is honest and direct while maintaining a refreshing lack of negativity. He’s proven that success in sports broadcasting doesn’t have to be synonymous with unprovoked controversy. A former athlete, coach and scout, he offers a unique perspective in a way that’s relatable to everyone.
John found his love for sports at an early age. A baseball, basketball and football standout at Torrey Pines High School in Del Mar, CA, he ultimately ended his athletic career at the collegiate level playing baseball and basketball at Mira Costa College, and finishing up with a full ride basketball scholarship to United States International University. An injury to his left knee after his Junior year at USIU shattered life long dreams of going Pro. During his time as a high school athlete Coach earned many awards including All League and All CIF honors in both baseball and basketball. As a basketball player he was recognized as the #2 and #5 leading scorers in San Diego County his Junior and Senior seasons, was Captain of his team and named “Most Outstanding Player.” As a baseball player he received the Golden Glove Award during his Junior season and “Most Inspirational Player” his Senior year. Mira Costa College honors included Honorable Mention All Desert Conference in both baseball and basketball, recipient of the Norm Ness Most Improved Player and Leadership Award, and the coveted Mira Costa College award for Athlete of The Year.
After graduating college, Kentera opted out of an 8-5 desk job for a more suitable career as a coach, a title that would later evolve into his on air nickname. For seventeen years he found great satisfaction in turning losing teams into winning teams, something he undoubtedly had a knack for. More important than the win for Kentera however was facilitating an environment where athletes respected one another, were accountable to one another, and learned to work as a team. Kentera started his coaching career as Assistant
Baseball Coach at Torrey Pines High School in 1979-1981. He then accepted a job at Mira Costa College as Assistant Baseball/ Pitching Coach under Community College Hall of Fame legend, John Seeley during the ‘82-‘84 seasons. In 1985 Coach Kentera was off to Southwestern Community College to where he worked as Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator under another legendary coach, Jerry Bartow. In this season alone Kentera’s team set the record for school wins, took Pacific Coast Conference Regular
Season and Conference Tournament titles, and qualified for the California State Community College Playoffs. In May of 1985 Coach Kentera accepted a job as Assistant Baseball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Texas Tech University. Once again Kentera’s impact was felt immediately. The year before his arrival, the Red Raiders had set a school record for losses. In his first season there, they set a record for school wins. During the ‘85 and ‘86 summer seasons, Kentera coached semi professional baseball with the Red Oak Iowa Red Cox in the prestigious Jayhawk League, Assistant Coach in his inaugural season moving into the Managerial seat in his last. The ‘85 season was especially notable where Kentera’s Red Sox won the NBC Iowa State Baseball Championship dethroning the 7 time champion, the Clarinda A’s. In the ‘86 season the Red Sox qualified for the NBC’s National Championships in Wichita, Kansas. Throughout this time in his coaching career, he also worked as a Professional Baseball Scout for the Kansas City Royals in ‘84-‘85. Good fortune allowed him to work under the direction of yet another great, the legendary baseball scout Al Kubski. Adding to the list, Kentera also spent time as an Associate Scout for the Florida Marlins and Director of their San Diego Try-Out Camps, working under well-known baseball talent evaluator Orrin Freeman.
Always the family man, in February of 1987 Kentera decided it was best to bring his young family back to Southern California.
Kentera returned to his alma mater Torrey Pines, the place where it all started. Coach Kentera went on to coach another 7 years of high school baseball, 3 years of football, 2 years of basketball, and 2 years of girl’s softball. An exciting opportunity presented itself in 1990 when Coach Kentera opened Valley Baseball School and Softball Academy, finding yet another outlet for his love of coaching. In 1991 the Valley Baseball School Summer team playing in Big League Baseball and under the Management of Kentera, won the North San Diego County Championship, the San Diego County Championship, and were runner up in the Southern California Regional finishing with a record of 22-3.
Over the course of Kentera’s professional life he’s been a mentor to hundreds of student athletes, guiding their careers in many ways including placing over 100 students at the college level and having 34 players drafted or sign professional baseball contracts. On a personal level Coach Kentera is known and admired for an “old school” mentality, living life daily with a put your family first, and outwork everyone frame of mind.